[XeTeX] XeTeX for Linux (first experiencies)

public at heslin.eclipse.co.uk public at heslin.eclipse.co.uk
Wed Jun 7 00:27:50 CEST 2006

Yves Codet <ycodet at club-internet.fr> writes:

> By the way I have an advice to ask. There are more elaborate
> hyphenation files including etymological patterns, and I planned to do
> the same adaptation with one of them, when I had a sudden doubt. 


>  Being no specialist of Greek I've never read any manuscript. Did
> Greek scribes break words after etymological patterns or not?

What is relevant here are Greek typographical, not scribal, norms.
These are slightly complex, but include hyphenating after most vowels,
and hyphenating compound words where they join (which is where etymology
comes in).

Fortunately, it is not necessary to proceed by guesswork or even to do
the hard work, because Dimitrios Filippou has already put together an
excellent set of TeX hyphenation patterns for both ancient and modern
Greek.  Here is the abstract of Filippou's paper on the subject:

    Several files with Greek hyphenation patterns for TeX can be found
    on CTAN. However, most of these patterns are for use with Modern
    Greek texts only. Some of these patterns contain mistakes or are
    incomplete. Other patterns are suitable only for some now-outdated
    TeX packages. In 2000, after having examined the patterns that
    existed already, the author made new sets of hyphenation patterns
    for typesetting Ancient and Modern Greek texts with the greek option
    of the babel package or with Dryllerakis' GreeKTeX package. Lately,
    these patterns have found their way even into the ibycus package,
    which can be used with the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae, and into Omega
    with the antomega package.  The new hyphenation patterns, while not
    exhaustive, do respect the grammatical and phonetic rules of three
    distinct Greek writing systems. In general, all Greek words are
    hyphenated after a vowel and before a consonant. However, for
    typesetting Ancient Greek texts, the hyphenation patterns follow the
    rules established in 1939 by the Academy of Athens, which allow for
    breaking up compound words between the last consonant of the first
    constituent word and the first letter of the second constituent
    word, provided that the first constituent word has not been changed
    by elision. For typesetting polytonic (multi-accent) Modern Greek
    texts, the hyphenation rules distinguish between the nasal and the
    non-nasal double consonants mu-pi, nu-tau, and gamma-kappa. In
    accordance with the latest Greek grammar rules, in monotonic
    (uni-accent) Modern Greek texts, these double consonants are not

The adaptation of these patterns for use with the Ibycus Greek font
which Filippou mentions above was in fact done by me with a Perl script
(which you can find on CTAN).  Now that I've just started using XeTeX, I
have every intention of writing another script to convert these patterns
for use with Unicode (both modern and ancient, and both normalization
forms, C and D).  Unfortunately, I'm swamped with work for the next
month or so and won't be able to get to it soon, so feel free to start
the project without me, if you need this urgently.

I assume that the Omega patterns mentioned above would not be usable
with XeTeX, but I may be wrong, as I have never used Omega.  Does anyone

Best wishes,


Peter Heslin (http://www.dur.ac.uk/p.j.heslin)

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